ANN: African Poetry Book Fund


Kwame Dawes, Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the 2011 Barnes & Noble
Writers for Writers Award, is pleased to announce the establishment of the
African Poetry Book Fund and Series. Starting in January 2014, the Series
will publish four new titles by African poets each year. In addition, the
Series will publish an anthology every few years representing themes,
ideas and poets from across the African continent. Of the four books
published, one will be a winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for
African Poets, and a second will be a new and selected volume by a major
African poet. The winner of the Sillerman prize will also receive a $1000
in cash.

Ghanaian poet, Kofi Awoonor, is honoured to be the first major poet in the
Series. His new and selected poems, with an introduction by fellow poet
and scholar, Kofi Anyidoho, will be published in 2014.

This new, exciting Series has been made possible through seed funding from
philanthropists, Laura and Robert F. X. Sillerman, whose generous
contributions have facilitated the establishment of the African Poetry
Book Fund. Mr. and Mrs. Sillerman welcome the use of their name for the
Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets.

The African Poetry Book Series will be the central feature of the work of
the African Poetry Book Fund, established in July 2012 under Dawes’
leadership at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. An Advisory Board has
been established to support and guide the work of the African Poetry Book
Fund. Confirmed Board Members include Laura Sillerman (President, The
Tomorrow Foundation), Sulaiman Adebowale (Publisher, Amalion Publishing),
Elizabeth Alexander (Poet), Ellah Allfrey (Dep. Director, Granta
magazine), Russell L. Goings (Poet, entrepreneur,) and Glenna Luschei
(Poet, editor, and translator) and Peter Rorvik (Director, Centre for
Creative Arts, South Africa).

Six internationally renowned writers serve on the Editorial Board for the
Series. Ghanaian-born poet Kwame Dawes, as the founding Series Editor;
South African poet Gabeba Baderoon; American novelist John Keene; Nigerian
poet and novelist Chris Abani; Egyptian-American poet Matthew Shenoda; and
British-Nigerian poet Bernardine Evaristo. For bios of editorial board
members, see attached.

Key Partners

University of Nebraska Press in the USA and Amalion Publishing in Senegal
will ensure that the books are published, distributed and available
worldwide in a collaborative venture.

Prairie Schooner, the acclaimed literary journal, will be a key partner in
this project offering administrative support and the management of the
Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets.

Open Road Media, a digital publisher and multimedia company led by Jane
Friedman, will handle the digital and e-books for the African Poetry Book

Blue Flower Arts, a leading booking agency for artists will represent the
authors and promote the Series.

The Brunel University African Poetry Prize for a portfolio of poems.
Spearheaded by poet and novelist Bernardine Evaristo, the Brunel
University African Poetry Prize will offer a cash award and publication in
major international literary journals.

The African Poetry Book Fund with its key partners will also undertake to
promote the writing and publication of African poetry through other
international collaborations and partnerships, seminars, workshops and
other publishing opportunities for African poets.

For general queries regarding the African Poetry Book Fund and the African
Poetry Book Series contact:

James Madison Redd
Prairie Schooner
Publicity Associate
Department of English
University of Nebraska Lincoln

Tel: +1 6624160302
Email: jimmyredd66(a)

For additional information for Africa and UK publication details contact:

Sulaiman Adebowale
Amalion Publishing
133 Cité Assemblée Ouakam
BP 5637 Dakar-Fann
Dakar, Senegal

Tel: +221 338601904
Email: publish(a)

Categories: Announcements, News, & Upcoming

Tags: , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. This is a welcome relief,thank you for such a laudable initiative
    believe me I’m excited @ this and wish us all great sailing!

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